Tag Archives: rock and roll

Meet the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2016 Inductees

The performers who will be joining the music elite as inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 are: Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, Steve Miller and N.W.A. Bert Berns will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement for his contributions to rock and roll as a writer, producer and record executive. This talented and diverse group of artists will be honored during the 31st ceremony for their roles in creating music that have become part of rock and roll history.

Cheap Trick

Photo: RollingStone.com

Cheap Trick – 40 Years of Classic Rock

Since Cheap Trick released their first self-titled album in 1977, they have produced 17 more albums and are still playing shows today. In fact, they just released a new album: Bang, Zoom, Crazy … HelloTheir longevity is due to their passion for rock and roll, and also their catchy guitar riffs, memorable lyrics and their relentless touring.

Cheap Trick is best known for their song, “I want you to want me” off of their 1977 album “In Color.” The band’s core members, Robin Zander on lead vocals, Rick Nielsen on lead guitar, Bun E. Carlos on drums and Tom Petersson on bass, have remained consistent since the band was formed in Illinois in 1974.

Chicago the Band

Photo: RollingStone.com

Chicago – Revolutionizing Rock & Roll with Horns

The band Chicago is best known for incorporating horns into soft rock ballads. The founding members from 1967 are Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Walter Parazaider and Danny Seraphine. However, many members have joined and left the band over the years.

The band won a Grammy for their best-known 1976 hit “If you leave me now.” Other hits include, “Make Me Smile”, the powerful “25 or 6 to 4” and the catchy “Saturday in the Park.” Chicago’s music is easily identifiable by the use of brass instruments, woodwinds and piano.

Deep Purple

Photo: RollingStone.com

Deep Purple – Best Known Guitar Riff in the World

The opening chords of Deep Purple’s iconic hit “Smoke on the Water” defines heavy metal. Formed in 1968 in Hereford England, Deep Purple started as an orchestral band that quickly embraced a darker sound. The aggressive “Highway Star” and heavy bass of “Space Truckin'” off of their 1972 album “Machine Head” have inspired generations of hard rockers.

Steve Miller Band

Photo: RollingStone.com

Steve Miller – Infectious Pop Rock

Steve Miller is the singer, harmonica player and lead guitarist of the Steve Miller Band. As a child, Steve Miller was encouraged to experiment with music, especially by family friend Les Paul. The 1968 hit “Living in the USA” was inspired by the San Francisco’s psychedelic music scene.

Steve Miller found commercial success with his platinum 1973 album “The Joker.” The optimistic bluesy storytelling of the title track “The Joker” hit number one in the US and later in the UK. His other hits include “Take the Money and Run,” “Rock’n Me” and “Fly Like an Eagle” off of the 1976 album “Fly Like an Eagle.”


Photo: RollingStone.com

NWA – Bringing Gangster Rap to Mainstream America

The success of N.W.A. undeniably changed rock and roll history. Controversial, rude, even shocking, N.W.A. has inspired rap artists for generations, legitimizing and popularizing the genre Gangster Rap. Their first studio album “Straight Outta Compton,” featured the song “Fuck the Police” sending shockwaves through America. The album was one of the first to receive a parental advisory label for explicit content and even solicited a protest letter from the assistant director of the FBI.

Meanwhile, N.W.A.’s gritty, if not romanticized street tales, enthralled America’s youth. Beyond their success as a group, NWA members Eazy E, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre have become musical royalty. Their protégés, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Bone Thugs N Harmony, 2Pac, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar make up some of the most talented rap artists of the last 25 years, ensuring the legacy of N.W.A. for years to come.

Bert Berns

Photo: RollingStone.com

Bert Berns – Interpreting Cuban Rhythms into Pop Music Hits

Bert Berns put a lifetime of talent into the seven years that he worked as a writer, producer and record executive. Inspired by Cuban music, he wrote the hits “Cry to Me,” covered by Solomon Burke and the Rolling Stones and “Twist and Shout” covered by the Beatles. He also wrote “Cry Baby” and “Piece of my Heart,” both hits for Janis Joplin.

Berns became a producer for Atlantic in 1963 and started his own record label, BANG, in 1965. His love of rhythm and blues became his trademark, producing “Hang on Sloopy” performed by the McCoys and “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters. With an eye for talent, Berns recorded Neil Diamond’s hit “Cherry, Cherry,” as well as Van Morrison’s hit “Brown Eyed Girl.” Until his death in 1967, Bert Berns contributed classic songs that have made rock and roll history.


Jessica Kane is a music connoisseur and an avid record collector. She currently writes for SoundStage Direct, her go-to place for all turntables and vinyl equipment, including VPI Turntables and Klipsch speakers.

Dads That Rock: Memories of Music

It is no great surprise that many of our life-long obsessions with music and great audio began with our fathers. The blog series “Dads That Rock” is an on-going Father’s Day tribute to these great men who helped inspire our passions. Cory from Paducah Home Theater (and “MetropolisLakeOutfitters” from the Klipsch forums) submitted the story below with minimal edits by the Klipsch editorial staff.

My dad (Kevin) introduced me to the world of classic rock as a boy.

We never had much money growing up, so for transportation he had to overhaul his old Dodge D-50 truck a total of four times, squeezing over 400,000 miles out of it while working a third shift. There were times when the only chance I had to see him was to walk a quarter mile down to my grandparents’ garage and hang out while he tore an engine apart.

The conversations we had usually ended up revolving around music while we listened to it. I didn’t understand much of it at the time but it makes more sense now.

While in that garage, he explained the meaning behind several Pink Floyd songs on many occasions. Any time Santana’s “Black Magic Woman” played, he would regurgitate memories about some crazy ex-girlfriend who was rumored to be a witch. He would describe in detail all the chaos that happened at Bull Island any time soemthing related to Woodstock came up since he was there.

I was even told about how my great-grandmother came from England, how she left behind a sister when she immigrated. Somehow, through this person, George Harrison of the Beatles was born and is technically my 5th cousin (I think?). Unfortunately, somebody stole the letter that explained it all.

I have no idea if it’s one true, but it’s a fun story nonetheless and his eyes light up every time he tells it.

Cory ZZ Top

Cory snapped this photo of ZZ Top.

My dad took me to my first concert at age 14, where we saw ZZ Top in their hey day. Their concerts were much different back then – trap doors, space ships, laser shows, conveyor belts, faux teleportation, etc. –really over the top. Nothing has topped it since then – it was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

For my 16th birthday, Santa brought my first subwoofers as well as a 4th edition The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook, which helped us manually design and build a fourth order tri-chambered bandpass box together for my 1988 Chevrolet Beretta. Due to the aforementioned lack of funds, the first version was the budget build from hell.

Working in an industry factory as an electrician, my dad had access to old wire. He smuggled home some discarded IBM networking wire for signal wires, some welding cable for power wires, smaller wire used as speaker wire, large capacitors to help the electrical system with dynamics and many other industrial parts like fuse boxes and terminals.

This is actually how I paid for the car itself, by stripping and recycling copper wire that was being thrown away, as copper prices weren’t what they are today so this was surprisingly pretty common. I found a [competitor] coaxial speaker in the trash and we used it as a center channel.

The first time we got it all connected after working on it for a long time, we sat there in the car in the middle of the night and listened to most of the Genesis “We Can’t Dance” album, which had recently come out and has some incredibly sweet midrange from percussion and keyboards, which sounded great on the flat Blaupunkt “honeycomb” midranges that I had. Soon afterwards we cranked up the engine and got to hear what the worst ground loop in the world sounds like, but dad got it fixed pretty quickly.

Cory Chevrolet Beretta

What we built would go on to win several trophies in halfway local International Auto Sound Challenge Association (IASCA) competitions. Overhearing a judge tell their buddies “that’s the best sounding car out here” was a big source of pride considering it was thrown away parts and Wal-Mart amps.

Plus (and most importantly), my dad and I worked on it together.

More than anything, my dad showed me what music could do to you emotionally. That really stuck with me, even nearly 30 years after hearing some of those stories in that garage.

We never had nice expensive equipment, but the memories associated with the music are worth much more than that.

Cory Doobie Brothers


Do you have a story about your dad that rocks, music and/or Klipsch speakers? Post it in the comments below and/or email it to alex.leopold@klipsch.com


30 Greatest Moments in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame History

Recorded rock and roll music sounds its best when being played through a sweet loudspeaker setup. The only way to beat it is to attend the live performance itself.

To kick off Klipsch’s monumental partnership as the first-ever Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony sponsor, our pals at the Rock Hall mulled over nearly three decades of video archives to piece together this list of the 30 greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performances of all time.

So crank up your speakers and watch the performances below. Be sure to vote for your favorite here.

If you think there is a performance that should have made the list, let us know in the comments section below…and ROCK ON!

Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others — "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

1. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (2004)

An epic, guitar thrashing tribute to George Harrison.


Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Bono and others — "Let It Be"

2. “Let It Be” (1999)

Sir Paul McCartney surprises crowd with friends like Eric Clapton, Bono, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen backing him.


Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young – "Roll Over Beethoven"

3. “Roll Over Beethoven” (1986)

Rock royalty Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Keith Richards show how it’s done.


Aerosmith and Kid Rock — "Sweet Emotion"

4. “Sweet Emotion” (2001)

Kid Rock and the Bad Boys from Boston turn it up with sweet results.


The Doors and Eddie Vedder — "Light My Fire"

5. “Light My Fire” (1993)

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder channels Jim Morrison with the original Doors band members.


U2 and Bruce Springsteen — "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

6. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (2005)

Dublin and Asbury Park collide when U2 trades licks with Springsteen.


Led Zeppelin perform Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 1995

7. “When The Levee Breaks” (1995)

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Neil Young and others go heavy on Led Zeppelin riff monster.


George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and others — "I Saw Her Standing There"

8. “I Saw Her Standing There” (1988)

Harrison, Starr and some famous friends get down with Fab Four magic.


Wilson Pickett and Bruce Springsteen Perform "In the Midnight Hour" at the 1999 Inductions

9. “In The Midnight Hour” (1999)

The Boss takes direction from Wilson Pickett.


The Band with Eric Clapton Perform "The Weight"

10. “The Weight” (1994)

The time The Band brought one of their biggest fans – Eric Clapton – on stage to jam with them.


Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and others — "Honky Tonk Woman"

11. “Honky Tonk Woman” (1989)

A riotous celebration with a Tina Turner and Mick Jagger-led collaboration to the Stones Induction.


"Green Onions" All-Star Jam at 1992 Inductions

12. “Green Onions” (1992)

Booker T. and the MG’s timeless groove with a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of groove maestros.


Carl Perkins, Keith Richards, BB King – "Blue Suede Shoes" Live at 1987 Induction

13. “Blue Suede Shoes” (1987)

Carl Perkins leads this rock standard with Keef at his side. How many other rockers can you spot?


Cream performs "Sunshine Of Your Love" at the 1993 Inductions

14. “Sunshine of Your Love” (1993)

The performance nobody thought would happen – the reunion of Cream.


Metallica performs at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2009

15. “Enter Sandman” (2009)

The first public inductions in Cleveland, a reunion and very heavy metal.


The Four Tops and Diana Ross Perform "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)"

16. “I Can’t Help Myself” (2003)

The stars of Motown align for one special night.


Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen perform "Come Together"

17. “Come Together” (1994)

An unlikely duo – Axl Rose and Bruce Springteen – come together to honor John Lennon.


The Righteous Brothers perform Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 2003

18. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” (2003)

Decades later, the stirring melodies showcase what made these brothers righteous, indeed.


The Velvet Underground Performs at the 1996 Hall of Fame Inductions

19. “Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend” (1996)

A rare, incredibly moving performance straight from the Velvet Underground.

Bo Diddley, BB King, Smokey Robinson, Paul Butterfield, Chuck Berry – "Hey! Bo Diddley"

20. “Hey! Bo Diddley” (1987)

Bo Diddley with BB King (on maracas!), Chuck Berry (on piano!), Smokey Robinson, Paul Butterfield and more.


Crosby, Stills & Nash with James Taylor and Emmylou Harris — "Teach Your Children"

21. “Teach Your Children” (1997)

Voices of a generation – including CSN, James Taylor and Emmylou Harris – get the crowd singing.


Green Day Performs "Teenage Lobotomy," "Rockaway Beach" and "Blitzkrieg Bop" in 2002

22. “Teenage Labotomy/Rockaway Beach/Blitzkrieg Bop” (2002)

Filling the punk-generation gap with Green Day.


The Staple Singers Perform "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There" at the 1999 Inductions

23. “Respect Yourself/I’ll Take You There” (1999)

An uplifting reminder why the Staple Singers were billed as “God’s greatest hitmakers.


Red Hot Chili Peppers – "Higher Ground" Live at 2012 Rock Hall Induction

24. “Higher Ground” (2012)

Red Hot Chili Peppers lead funk-punk-rock mash-up with all-star cast of players including Slash.


Pink Floyd and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins perform "Wish You Were Here"

25. “Wish You Were Here” (1996)

Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins and a powerfully restrained performance.


Heart – "Barracuda" Live at 2013 Rock Hall Induction

26. “Barracuda” (2013)

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart lead a master class in Seattle rock history.


Hall of Fame Inductee Super Jam – "Crossroads" Live in 2013

27. “Crossroads” (2013)

Members of Rush, Public Enemy, Foo Fighters, Run DMC, Heart, CCR and more rewrite the “Crossroads.”


Members of Guns N' Roses – "Paradise City" Live at 2012 Rock Hall Induction

28. “Paradise City” (2012)

Explosive performance with reunited former members of GNR.


2014 Induction Tribute to Linda Ronstadt with Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood and friends!

29. “It’s So Easy” (2014)

A superstar showcase of singer-songwriters salute Linda Ronstadt.


Members of Nirvana w/ Joan Jett – "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Live at 2014 Rock Hall Induction

30. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (2014)

A Joan Jett–fronted Nirvana recast a modern rock anthem.

Iconic Music Couples: Muses for Better or Worse

When Paul W. Klipsch began his quest for live music in his living room, the person seated beside him in that room was his wife, Belle. It has been said that behind every great man is a great woman. The same might be said about a great song. Melody certainly matters. A memorable hook helps, along with clever or compelling lyrics to stick with us. But even if a song has all this going for it, it will fall flat if it’s missing authentic passion.

What do singers and songwriters draw upon to create this passion? Frequently, from their own life experience. Phil Collins’ famous break-up song “Against All Odds” begins with the line: “How can I let you just walk away / Just let you leave without a trace?” The song told the story of Collins’ own failing marriage, and in 1984 the crash and burn story resonated with music fans enough to see it hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100 U.K. and spent three weeks at number one in the U.S.

Hit songs about love and relationships get even more interesting when the song is about another musician. Iconic music couples have clashed and harmonized to create some of our best-loved songs throughout history. For example…

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumours is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock albums of the 1970s, if not of all-time. Producing hits such as “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way,” Rumours won the 1978 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The album’s greatness was born, however, from simultaneous meltdowns in the intertwined romantic relationships of several band members:

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were Fleetwood Mac’s American members. Long-time lovers, their relationship was crumbling by the late 1970s. In “Go Your Own Way,” Buckingham expressed his anger with Nicks, even including the line “Packing up, shacking up is all you want to do” despite her strong objections. The line stayed in the song and the beleaguered couple recorded it together as bandmates. To be a fly on that wall…

Two other members of the band, Christine and John McVie, were going through their own break-up while Rumours was being written. In the other best-known song from the album, “Don’t Stop,” Christine tells her ex-husband repeatedly, “Yesterday’s gone.” Although the song sounds cheery and optimistic, it was Christine’s way of telling John that their relationship was over, and it was time to move on.

Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac 05 DEC 1977

Sonny and Cher

Cher was a tender 16 years old when she met Salvatore “Sonny” Bono in a coffee shop. Sonny was 27 and working for legendary music producer Phil Spector. Before long, he had Cher singing backup for acts like The Righteous Brothers and The Crystals.

The couple’s romantic relationship began in 1962; their marriage in 1964. Their career-making song about one another: “I Got You Babe” was a hit in 1965. Ten years after singing the foreshadowing lyrics, “They say we’re young and we don’t know / We won’t find out until we grow,” Sonny and Cher divorced. Despite Cher having very few kind words about Sonny after the divorce, their relationship was the springboard that launched both their careers, and propelled her ultimately into super-stardom.

I Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher Top of the Pops 1965

Johnny Cash and June Carter

Thankfully, not all iconic match ups end in disaster. For Johnny Cash and June Carter, their 35 year-marriage weathered hard times with the couple staying together through it all. Johnny Cash, Jr. would subsequently write in memoirs about his parents that they “accepted each other unconditionally” and stayed in love until the end of their lives.

Before she met Johnny, June was a musical star in her own right as a performer with her family’s group, The Carter Sisters. Johnny started performing with the family and fell in love with June almost right away. He insisted that he would marry her one day, but she cited his drug addiction as the reason she’d never be with him. Biographers of Cash claim that it was largely his love for June providing the motivation to get his addiction under control. The two married in 1968 and stayed married until their deaths in 2003. Over the years, they sung a multitude of duets together, including hits such as “Jackson.”

Johnny and June Carter Cash sing Jackson

Who is your favorite musical power couple? Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale? Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood? Marc Anthony and J-Lo? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.